Crash in Ashburton claims four lives

By Te Ao - Māori News

Emergency services have rushed to the scene of a serious crash outside Ashburton today. Image / George Heard, NZ Herald.

Four people are dead after a truck and a van carrying many passengers have collided at an intersection outside of Ashburton this morning.

Police were alerted to reports of a serious multi-vehicle accident at Cochranes Rd at 9.30am.

Area commander Inspector David Gaskin told the NZ Herald he blamed "a moment of inattention".

The people inside the van appear to be a group of adults who have travelled from the North Island.

Two survivors from the van were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition and the other in a serious condition.

The truck driver was also taken to hospital with moderate injuries.

Police officers are on the scene conducting a scene examination. 

Going into the Queen's Birthday holiday weekend, police are urging people to think carefully when they get behind the wheel.

They suggest drivers put down the cellphone, don't drive impaired, drive to a safe speed, and wear a seatbelt.